Best of the North Magazine sat down with Tim Ackermann, a University of Dayton and Xavier University graduate, to discuss his new position as Kings Local School District’s superintendent. 

Starting Aug. 1, Superintendent Tim Ackermann begins his four-year term with Kings Local School District after being chosen from a pool of 31 applicants. During his time as superintendent, Ackermann hopes to get to know the district and the community better, and wants to help the district continue growing as a one of the premier districts in the state. 

What made you decide on education as a career?

I was brought up in a family retail business and found out very quickly that it was not something that was a passion of mine. During college, I was working with teens at the local high school and figured out that my passion was working with students. I switched my major to education and have not regretted it since. I love it when students have a light bulb moment. I think that’s what drives me in everything I do. 

What is a “light bulb” moment? 

It’s when a student learns something for the first time or understands something that’s been taught to them and they get it. You can see it in their eyes and in their facial expressions. I think seeing that they can learn something just fosters their drive to want to continue to learn. 

What do you believe makes a child successful as a student?

I think when a child tries to reach their fullest potential is when they become most successful. 

What are key tools that students can bring to 
the table?

The student needs to bring an open mind, but sometimes that has to be developed. Actually, I don’t know if a student needs to bring anything because I think that as educators it’s our job to figure out that student because they are each individuals. 

How do you think adults influence children in become an individual?

Every adult is going to have an influence on a child’s life and our job is to make sure that, when they walk through the door, we are creating a positive environment, where we lead by example. 

What was your favorite school subject?

Math. 

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of mentors and it’s not so much what they tell you, it’s how they act. I observe a lot and I look at how people work and develop relationships and if it came down to it, that would be the most important thing I’ve learned is that in this job it’s a relationship business. 

What changes have you 
seen in education in the past few years?

The big elephant in the room is state testing. It’s played a major role in education, some good, some bad. I think over-testing eliminates the opportunity for instruction. So the more we test the less instruction time a student receives. The state is already talking about cutting back on the amount of testing after only one year and I imagine testing will continue to change. 

What do you think technology is doing to the way students learn?

It’s interesting because students have technology put into their hands at a very young age. You’ll see two- and three-year-olds playing with their parents’ iPhones or iPads. Technology shouldn’t be used as a primary resource, but a tool to further the instructional process.